24 April 2023 – Dispute Resolution Enhancements
Over the past weekend SARS released system enhancements to improve its efficiency and effectiveness in resolving tax disputes. These enhancements will also ensure that only the tax in dispute is considered for suspension of payment.
The most significant system changes to be implemented include:
- Calculation of disputed amount: On submission of an appeal the calculation of the value of the amount disputed will be automated. This will reduce the time taken in internal allocations, improve the accuracy of suspensions of payment and assist internal reporting on disputed debt.
- Updating taxpayer contacts: Taxpayers will now be able to amend their contact details for purposes of their tax dispute on eFiling. This will facilitate earlier engagement by SARS and allow taxpayer to include the contact details of their representative chosen for purposes of resolving the tax dispute.
- Request for Remission: The request for remission functionality has been extended to include remission requests for provisional underestimation penalties levied in terms of paragraph 20(1) of the Fourth Schedule to the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962. This functionality is now aligned to the applicable legislation.
- Request for Reasons: New automated Request for Reasons outcome letters have been implemented. Previously if SARS agreed that reasons for the assessment had to be supplied, manual letters were issued.
- Objections: Where SARS requires additional substantiating documents to enable it to consider an objection, it is now able to issue up to three (3) requests to the taxpayer for the supply of the requested documents. This will ensure that most of the dispute related information gathering is done during the objections phase of a tax dispute.
- Appeals: Automated letters have been introduced for appeals administration for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) have been implemented as follows:
- Notice confirming that an appeal is suitable for ADR;
- Notice extending the period of ADR proceedings;
- Notice terminating the ADR proceedings; and
- Notice confirming the outcome of an appeal.
In addition to the above various internal processes have been streamlined to reduce resolution times of especially appeals in ADR proceedings. The enhancements to taxpayer contact details and automated notices will greatly improve communication with taxpayers.
Pivotal to the delivery of SARS’ Vision 2024 are our digital platforms & technology infrastructure. These enhancements will aid in providing clarity & certainty and make it easy for taxpayers & traders to comply with their obligations.